Unikernels as processes
System virtualization (e.g., the virtual machine abstraction) has been established as the de facto standard form of isolation in multi-tenant clouds. More recently, unikernels have emerged as a way to reuse VM isolation while also being lightweight by eliminating the general purpose OS (e.g., Linux) from the VM. Instead, unikernels directly run the application (linked with a library OS) on the virtual hardware. In this paper, we show that unikernels do not actually require a virtual hardware abstraction, but can achieve similar levels of isolation when running as processes by leveraging existing kernel system call whitelisting mechanisms. Moreover, we show that running unikernels as processes reduces hardware requirements, enables the use of standard process debugging and management tooling, and improves the already impressive performance that unikernels exhibit.